On Saturday, March 27 and Sunday, March 28, Terminal City Tabletop Convention (TCTC) hosted its annual event, online for the second year in a row. I had Twitch on the TV throughout both days to watch as games were played. In particular, I was eager to see how the RPG Free Spacer could run, and Rachel participated in a playtest run of ‘Tis Mutiny, a pirate card game. Eager to learn more, I reached out to Andrea, one of the co-owners of TCTC to find out more about the convention and about the nerdy community here in Vancouver, BC.
By day, Andrea Driedger (she/her) is a communications specialist with the local school district. By night, Andrea is a storyteller, roleplaying gamer, board gamer, bibliophile, writer, introvert, cancer survivor, and drinker of ALL THE TEA. She co-owns Terminal City Tabletop Convention (Vancouver’s tabletop gaming convention) and Adventure Dice (a tabletop gaming online store) with her husband, Blair. You can find her on socials @wisdomcheck.
Andrea, when did you become a fan of tabletop games?
I’ve been playing tabletop games since I was a kid. Whether it was family Monopoly marathons, or getting my butt kicked at Scrabble or Hearts, games have always been part of my life. When I was in university back in the aughts, I joined an online, post-based, Star Trek RPG. It’s really what introduced me to the bigger world of gaming. I’d had an interest in D&D, but the group I tried it with wasn’t the best introduction to the game. The interest waned until I met Blair at a convention, who opened the door to tabletop RPGs and other board games.
What is your favorite tabletop game and why?
That’s like having to choose my favourite book! Yikes! If I had to pick one, I’d say Pandemic. I love cooperative games. You get to win together or not, and nobody feels like they got the short end of the gaming stick. It’s easy to teach, but still offers a lot of strategy.
I know that you have participated in TCTC since it’s very first year. How has the con changed in the years since then?
It’s definitely scaled up in size. Going from the Firefighter’s Club in Burnaby to three rooms of the Croatian Cultural Centre has definitely been a big change. It’s given us the opportunity to add a dedicated RPG room, a small space for vendors, and more game play tables. I know events can sometimes lose that magic when they get big, but TCTC has been lucky to have been able to keep its heart and community intact even as it has grown.
When did you and your husband Blair begin working/volunteering with TCTC? What prompted you to do so?
We both have a passion for sharing our love of gaming with others. We’d run a few small board gaming events with friends in the past, volunteered at some other conventions, hosted board game nights at our local FLGS, and even run a charity RPG event. Shannon (TCTC’s founder) had made a post looking for extra help as the convention was growing, and we knew it was a good opportunity to help our local gaming community.
What has been the hardest part about organizing a virtual convention?
Last year it was pivoting from an in-person event to an online event with two weeks’ notice. This year I think it’s been screen fatigue. Everyone is tired from being online so much more, so trying to come up with ideas that would motivate folks to be online for another two days felt tricky. But our community is so supportive and passionate about TCTC, that it didn’t end up being an issue at all.
What is the most rewarding part of organizing TCTC?
Seeing someone discover a new favourite game, no matter if they’re totally brand new to gaming or they’ve been playing for years.
Did you come away from the con excited to play any new games?
I am really excited for Steam Up: A Feast of Dim Sum from local designers Hot Banana Games. This was their second year demoing at TCTC and their game looks like a lot of fun (and super adorable and delicious too). I mean… mini foam dim sum pieces?!
What can we look forward to from TCTC in the future?
I think I speak for everyone when I say we’re just excited to hopefully be able to get back to in-person events.
What else would you like people to know about?
We hope folks will join us June 5-6, 2021 for Andrea’s Adventurers Charity RPG Livestream! We’ll have two days on the TCTC twitch (@terminalcitycon) featuring some fun RPG adventures while we try to raise $5,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society. More details coming soon, but if you watch the TCTC, Adventure Dice, or my own twitter accounts there will be more details coming soon.
I’ve got Andrea’s Adventurers Charity RPG Livestream in my calendar, and I am already looking forward to playing new tabletop games at next year’s Terminal City Tabletop Convention!